A global fuel characteristic model and dataset for wildfire prediction

McNorton, Joe R.; Di Giuseppe, Francesca

Effective wildfire management and prevention strategies depend on accurate forecasts of fire occurrence and propagation. Fuel load and fuel moisture content are essential variables for forecasting fire occurrence, and whilst existing operational systems incorporate dead fuel moisture content, both live fuel moisture content and fuel load are either approximated or neglected. We propose a mid-complexity model combining data driven and analytical methods to predict fuel characteristics. The model can be integrated into earth system models to provide real-time forecasts and climate records taking advantage of meteorological variables, land surface modelling, and satellite observations. Fuel load and moisture is partitioned into live and dead fuels, including both wood and foliage components. As an example, we have generated a 10-year dataset which is well correlated with independent data and largely explains observed fire activity globally. While dead fuel moisture correlates highest with fire activity, live fuel moisture and load are shown to potentially enhance prediction skill. The use of observation data to inform a dynamical model is a crucial first step toward disentangling the contributing factors of fuel and weather to understand fire evolution globally. This dataset, with high spatiotemporal resolution (inline-formula∼9 km, daily), is the first of its kind and will be regularly updated.



McNorton, Joe R. / Di Giuseppe, Francesca: A global fuel characteristic model and dataset for wildfire prediction. 2024. Copernicus Publications.


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Rechteinhaber: Joe R. McNorton

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